Applying Behavioural Science to Tackle Mis/Disinformation

The proliferation of verifiably false information creates and exacerbates serious problems, ranging from ethnic tensions and violence, vaccination hesitancy, climate change denial, and doubts about the integrity of democratic elections. Although mis/disinformation can be spread in all forms of media, it is particularly concerning in online and digital contexts due to its ability to spread quickly and widely without formal fact-checking or verification. It is, therefore, vital to design systems and foster habits and competencies that support individuals to separate true information from false, recognise exaggeration or misleading claims, and avoid sharing or amplifying mis/disinformation. Behavioural science is one entry point to addressing mis/disinformation. It focuses on understanding why people believe false information and what interventions might help, at both individual and system levels.

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